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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Kenwood ts-450 Help


Reviews Summary for Kenwood ts-450
Kenwood ts-450 Reviews: 88 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $1,639.00
Description: HF Radio
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.kenwood.com
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You can write your own review of the Kenwood ts-450.

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WA9WKK Rating: 5/5 May 14, 2006 18:29 Send this review to a friend
Run with the BIG GUNS !!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my TS-450S for over ten years and I can say with out a doubt, this is a rig that can hold its own with the best of them, bar none!

Together with my Mosley TA-33-M on a 52 ft tower, I have worked DX with it like the guys with stations costing thousands more than I have invested.

This TS-450S has put many awards and achievements on my ham shack wall. Among which include,
WAS SSB, WAS CW, WAC PHONE, WAC CW, DXCC PHONE, DXCC CW, WAZ SSB, WAZ CW,
along with, working and confirming 316 DXCC countries. These awards all came after I started using the TS-450S with 100 watts!

I have been a ham radio operator for 40 years and have never owned or used an amplifier.
I have only been working DX for about the last 15 years of the 40.

The optional CW and SSB filters are worth every penny. Coupled with the onboard notch filter and
IF Shift you can calm down the noise, squeeze out the QRM and bring in the weak ones.

The Kenwood TS-450S is a solid and dependable radio.

So pick you up one of these babies, couple it with a good antenna, jump in the pile-up feet first, and
Run with the BIG GUNS !
 
KF6CZG Rating: 4/5 May 10, 2006 22:22 Send this review to a friend
The best radio is the one you've got...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Well, I picked up my first HF rig from a guy in my club for a very generous price. (Thanks Mark!) It's a Kenwood TS-450S with autotuner, and I've been having all sorts of fun on the air with it. The audio on RX is crisp and clear, and I get good audio reports on TX. The autotuner tunes my 40m dipole for 80, 30, 20, 15 and 10. The reciever has yet to be overloaded by strong signals nearby, and I live in the land of the Kalifornia Kilowatt. The controls are laid out very well, and there's not so much as a function key, let alone a menu. The radio is large enough to feel like a big rig, and yet small enough to be reasonably portable, and there's even a handle on the side.

As far as the control layout goes, I had a blind ham friend over and he was working the radio like he owned it within about 30 minutes. It's that easy.

The downsides-
There is no built-in keyer, which was a bit disappointing. (However, I had fun fixing it, built a kit keyer.) The noise blankers don't seem to do anything on sideband, though they work nicely under CW. The notch filter is the same way. However, those are the only downsides that I can think of, and the radio performs very nicely. So, 4 out of 5.
 
PA3GQD Rating: 4/5 Jan 27, 2006 15:44 Send this review to a friend
good work horse  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had mine for about 10 yrs now, and it still is the main radio. When I first got it (new) it didn't do more than 50 Watts. Took it back to the dealer and we found a 'power cut' switch under the service lid (bottom side), even he didn't know about.
Flipped it over and the radio instantly produced 100W. Flipped it back again, because I don't like raw power. So I actually use the cut down (5watts full ALC min. power now. Exactly QRP CW/ max power 50W).
Still like the radio. I can't understand the rumours about the 450 having a bad RX, I think it's excellent. My preference for the lower bands might be the reason for this. I have the 270Hz CW filter. It rings, but I only use it occasionally. Works well, but I think I'll try and get the two 500 Hz filters one day. Don't have (and wouldn't want) the internal tuner. Using the radio in conjunction with a McCoy balanced tuner or Pi-tuner.
Just a prefect radio for everyday use and no flaws I could find.
 
NE0P Rating: 4/5 Nov 7, 2005 07:23 Send this review to a friend
Nice surprise-really a 4.5 rating  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I picked up a Kenwood TS690 in a trade a little while ago, and it is really a Kenwood TS450 with 6 meters added. I would give it a 4.5 if possible, as it is a very good radio, but not a great radio.

Here are the positives:
1. The receiver on this radio is top rate. That was the nice surprise I had. I ran it in the CQWW and November SS, seeing limited action in both contest. It handles the strong signals well and never saw any overloading problems. The receive audio is also nice and it gets good transmit audio reports also, with the stock handmic.

2. Filter instillation is the best I have seen in a radio. You don't even have to take a cover off! There is just a little trap door on the bottom panel that you open to install the filters. It takes longer to unhook it from the operating position than it does to install the filters.

3. The front panel is laid out very well for operating, and also looks very classy. This is one very nice looking rig, but it is also very functional. Rarely need to go into the menus, and there is no function key.

4. The metering on this radio is also very nice. Can see both power out and SWR at the same time, and they are very useful and intuitive meters. It actually tells you what the SWR is, unlike the meters on the FT100D or FT857/897.

5. Nice small size, with a carry handle. Would make nice DXpedition or portable rig.

6. Has XIT as well as RIT.

Not for the negatives, that keep it from being a 5:

1. The noise blanker is pretty anemic in this radio, at least on the powerline noise and other crud I get that comes with living in an older residential neighboorhood. It removes less of the noise than most other rigs I have seen. It is about equal to the NB in the current Icoms, which means it is useless most of the time. This makes the receiver kind of noisy overall.

2. The notch filter is an AF notch, not an IF notch. It really doesn't do much as a notch filter, but it does quiet down the background noise a bit when turned on, kind of like an early DSP.

3. No internal keyer. The Icom and Yaesu rigs of this era have internal keyers, and so does the TS850, which this is designed after. That would really make it a great take along rig.

4. No way to clear the XIT or RIT other than moving it back to zero.

Overall a pretty good rig even by today's standards. Really good at what they are going for used today. I can't comment on the internal tuner, as mine has one installed, but it doesn't work. Getting 50 watts on 6 meters is also great. Just wish the NB worked better.

 
N4RAP Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2005 14:19 Send this review to a friend
Nice, Nice  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had two of these. I donated one to the OMIK Ham Radio Club and kept the other. Great mobile or base radio. Nice display and layout. Has great features and sounds like a big radio. It is rough and rugged and can take a beating. Knobs are big enough and easy to operate. Uses some tough little 2SC2879's for finals and both of mine have been turned up and putting out over 150 Watts since the early 1990's. No malfunctions, there. There is one design flaw and it is the main coax connector on the back of the radio. these tend to become a bad solder joint and develope a loose connection that sounds and acts like a loose antenna when the radio is on recieve. Most will power right through the loose connection on transmit and not malfuction on transmit, but will intermittantly become "deaf" on receive. this is especially noticable in mobile service. Still it's a great radio.

N4RAP
 
PY3KT Rating: 5/5 Jul 12, 2005 12:11 Send this review to a friend
Great package  Time owned: more than 12 months
Very nice Tx and Rx audio and I always received good reports, even with propagation conditions is going down. Antenna tuner setup works very fine, ideal for fiel day or base station. I use a delta loop full wawe 80m antenna. Finals (PA) rudged and protected by silent fans. A trustworthy equipment.
 
VK2TLG Rating: 5/5 Jun 27, 2005 15:41 Send this review to a friend
Nice little radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Well I have now owned a TS-450 for about 4 months now and I have to say that I am impressed. The receiver is impressive; the ease of use is impressive. I would highly recommend this radio to anybody that requires a good second hand radio to start with. I use the TS-450 as the main Radio in the shack and it has a MC-60 attached to it.
The ATU tunes anything I put to it so far´┐Ż and there has been some pretty wacky antennas attached to it. So over all very impressed with the unit.
 
KE4ZHN Rating: 5/5 Apr 28, 2005 21:32 Send this review to a friend
Great workhorse rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my 450 used back in 97. Its worked flawlessly from the day I bought it. The receiver performance is good for an older rig like this. Im sure it cant stack up against the new dsp rigs, but I wouldnt expect it to. Sensitivity and selectivity is good even with the stock 2.4 filter. I have two optional cw filters and this rig works very well on cw. The built in tuner works well and seems to match most anyting I toss at it. Transmit audio is very good with a proper microphone. I have used this rig on some digital modes and it works very well. All in all, for the money, its hard to beat.
 
N5EAT Rating: 4/5 Apr 28, 2005 17:42 Send this review to a friend
Fine Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased a 450-SAT the year it was introduced, and had it several years. I had only one negative experience with it, which was corrected free of charge (the SO239 connector on back apparently stressed a solder connection and was promptly resoldered at repair facility).

The rig was not really noisy. I had previously owned a yaesu-ft757gx2 and the yaesu was very noisy in terms of synthesizer noise. I have an old yaesu rig that is not a modern computer chip type radio, and it's almost dead quiet on receive on dead band. Even the finest current rigs have a bit of noise. This rig had something like .13 mv sensitivity on receive, so it had plenty of opportunities to amplify signals of any type. I had an ICOM 735 and it was a bit noisier. It sounds like a modern rig when running with the pre-amp on. I think some folks review this and other rigs in comparison to older rigs, or newer rigs with much more expensive filtering, etc.

I Loved the rig however. The 450 has an elegent feel to it, and the display was great except for in really bright light. Noise blanker was fair. Produced a noticable effect. The tuner had quite a broad range. The downside was that it only worked on transmit. Your receiver never knew the difference, so if you had a really out of match antenna, you probably didn't hear much.

The rig got tons of use including 3 24-hour brutal sessions at field days into questionable antenna setups. Always got great reports.

I purchased the 270hz cw filter and it was really tight, but the width was a tad narrow for my liking. Nevertheless, it worked wonderfully.
It rang a bit, but no more than any other filter on the market that didn't cost an arm and leg.

I give it high marks for reliability and functionality, looks and ease of use. I really
don't have much bad to say. I traded the rig in after several years for a really nice dual-bander for the car. I missed it for quite some time. Unless there are parts shortages for the rig, i highly recommend it for those in the market for a fine previously loved rig.
 
KD3GM Rating: 4/5 Apr 28, 2005 14:54 Send this review to a friend
4 - 4.5 almost excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After having so much grief with my recently purchased then sold Kenwood TS 430S, I purchased the TS 450S/AT on Ebay with a bit of trepidation. Much to my surprise, pleasantly I might add, the TS 450S/AT is a dream to operate. This particular radio was extremely well cared for and looked almost brand-new. It has what seams to be the right combination of filters and other bells and whistles to satisfy my operating style. The advanced features are easy to use and understand and the built-in ATU is really quick to respond. Transmit audio reports have been excellent even with the stock hand microphone as well as excellent signal reports. After one month I have used the rig for both a fixed and mobile operation and am quite impressed with it.

Now for the downside, I rated the rig 4 out of five for the following reasons;

A) In a side-by-side comparison, the unfiltered receive audio and dynamic response is still better on my TS 520SE vs. the 450 unfiltered audio.
B) The 450's recieve is more sensitive, but Strong local stations overwhelm the front end vs. my 520
C) The RF Gain control is a bit non-linear which makes it a little difficult to operate mobile.

Overall the rig is a good value for a early to mid nineties vintage rig. I paid $435.00, which I feel was a steal considering that the seller mis-listed it as a TS 440S/AT then later revised the listing. Fully loaded, the rig goes for between $500 and $600 on the used market normally and the HF + 6M TS 690S variant goes for around $650. Either rig is a good investment in my book.
 
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